The New Zealand Book Council maintains a set of Writer Files that give generous space to each writer listed, covering their career to date and published books. I’m happy to say that I’m one of the writers included – I’ve been in since the mid-2000s, after my first two books were published.
Following the publication of the The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry, I asked the Book Council to update my page – which they promptly and efficiently did. Along the way, I discovered that there is now a formal selection process for inclusion in the Writer Files, and that if you’re a writer who has had at least one book-length project published (print or digital) and not already included, you have until 28 November to apply for inclusion:
We are continually improving our Writers Files to maintain their breadth, diversity and accuracy. If you are interested in applying for a Writers File, please read the criteria below.
The addition of authors to the Writers Files is at the discretion of the Book Council’s Website Editorial Panel. In order to best manage our limited writing and editing resources, this selection panel considers authors for a new intake once a year, in December, and up to ten new authors are added.
Key dates for 2014
- November 28: Applications close
- December 09: Website Editorial Panel meet to consider applications
- December 19: Applicants notified of Panel decision
The minimum criterion for inclusion is that a writer has published at least one book-length publication (print or digital) or, in the case of dramatists and scriptwriters, critically acclaimed performances or productions. Factors that the Panel will consider are:
- the critical response to published work/s
- how the author’s inclusion in the Writers Files will contribute to the overall diversity of the Writers Files
- literary profile
- breadth of readership and/or volume of sales.
Exceptions to this intake process will be made if an author is participating in an event programme managed by the Book Council, such as Words on Wheels, the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards festival, or Writers in Schools. For more information about becoming part of Writers in Schools, click here.
We also require writers who are profiled in our Writers Files to keep us updated (within reason) about new work, reviews or awards that might be relevant to their Writers File.
Download an application form here.
Having a Writers’ Files entry is a bit like having a better-formatted Wikipedia page with nice people standing by to update it for you (as long as you don’t ask for updates more than a couple of times per year), so if you are an author with at least one published book, I think it’s worth applying.